San Bruno: Admittedly, before this tragic explosion, San Bruno was mostly a BART stop to me. But one thing is very clear to me: we have got to stop waiting until bridges collapse and pipelines explode to make sure our infrastructure is in adequate condition! And here’s a little hint to politicians: You actually have to hire people to build and repair things like pipelines, roads, and bridges. Better yet, quality infrastructure makes it easier for the private sector to create jobs when these projects are completed! By the way, did anybody notice that PG&E are only committing to paying up if it is found to be their fault? Um yeah, I think Allstate and State Farm will see to it that they pay. Here’s video of the explosion taken at a nearby gas station.
Health Insurance Reform isn’t over yet: Premiums are still rising quite a lot faster than inflation, and insurers claim that this is because they are paying out more money (probably because certain shady practices had to be stopped). Meanwhile, there is one provision that must get changed. However, the Senate failed twice today to get it passed. Under an obscure provision — that has nothing whatsoever to do with health care — small businesses would be forced to issue 1099 forms to any vendor with whom they purchased more than $600 worth of goods. Somehow it is claimed that this would raise $17,000,000,000 in taxes. I just can’t see how that works. After all, I get receipts from my brokerage and local NAR chapter documenting how much I paid them; why is my sending them notice that I indeed paid what they admit I paid going to generate money for anybody but my accountant?
On the Federal Budget and the Deficit thereof: So those bad old Tax-And-Spend Liberals managed to reduce the deficit 13%, with control of Congress (although their “control” of the Senate is a strange thing). At least Tax-And-Spend Liberals know you ought to have money before spending it. But do you think any Democrats are going to point this out on the campaign trail? Probably not. By the way, I can’t understand why CNN thinks it’s newsworthy that the Federal Budget isn’t done yet. This has happened pretty much every year for as long as I can remember. Of course the budget deficit would shrink quite a bit if we just let the Tax Cuts For People Who Don’t Need More Money expire. Even Moody’s says that giving the rick a tax break doesn’t do jack for the economy, and they’re paid to figure this stuff out. Frankly, if the only way to make that happen is to accept higher taxes myself next year, so be it. Let me get my damn checkbook.
A Few Items on Education: School breakfasts are the coming trend (couldn’t they eat something more healthy than sugary cereal and whole wheat donuts? Sorry it’s still deep fried cake). David Sirota on the educational bait and switch that has left our students unfit to do much more than putter on computers and pour lattes. Why college grads can’t write despite employers begging for literate employees that can write a freaking memo. And more than you really wanted to know about student loans.
A Few Items on Banking and Financial Reform: It looks like the international community is telling us that we will tighten up regs whether banks and Congress and Bernanke likes it or not. However, the holes in the regs look remarkably like cheese from the region where the rules are even now being hammered out. Meanwhile, the SEC is trying to prevent financial firms from hiding their debt. Funny, we’re still having this issue how many years after Enron? Meanwhile, it looks like President Obama is actually going to do the right thing and put in a recess appointment for Elizabeth Warren as head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That means there is a chance things will be done that favor Joe Average above the Banksters. Oh and one more thing: if banks are failing to pay the feds back, why exactly aren’t the feds foreclosing on their worthless hides?
Cops Hate Dogs: It amazes me that someone who is sworn to protect the people can have such a low regard for living beings. One must wonder if they even respect human life.
“But that’s a nose in the middle of your face!”: Even CNN is pointing out that simply assuming people are physically able to work until they are 70 is an unrealistic plan for “saving” Social Security.
Silver Lining on the Economy is just Aluminum Foil: The wage gap between men and women is shrinking. My take is that the bean-counters figure it’s more cost effective to lay off the high-wage man than the underpaid woman, with the long term effect being that wages in general are lower when it comes time to hire again.
It’s still Sugar: High Fructose Corn Syrup is being re-branded as “corn sugar.” That doesn’t change the fact that most research says it’s not good for you.
If you build it, they might come: It turns out that Fiats may be returning to the states. That is, if certain Chrysler dealers build special showrooms for them.